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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,
I was curious what everyone's opinion is of PM training (if you have one)? From what I read, it can either be totally awesome or the exact opposite.
Have any of you taken their classes? Would you recommend them based on your experience?
Thanks,

Groucho
 

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PetSmart training could go either way and if you have other options I"d suggest looking into them. Some trainers there are fantastic: they've been training for years and they know what they're doing. Some trainers know only as much as PetSmart's employee training program has taught them. And remember, just about everything PetSmart employees do is in order to sell things and the trainers work on commission (unless it's changed). I'd look up the trainer and/or watch a class to see how they train and gather your own opinion on them before taking a class.
 

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I think it would totally depend on who is teaching the class, and if they teach them all or if someone else teaches some of the weeks - find that out then talk to the trainer. Ask them an 'outside of the box' type question like how to get the dog to calm down at mealtimes, and see if they have a few suggestions or just one that sounds like it came from a book. Ask how many dogs they've trained and watch a class to see how it goes.

Another option to find classes is to look for agility and flyball groups in your area and ask them who they suggest.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's my biggest thing. I know for a fact that trainers make $20 bucks for every class sold, bare minimum, and that every single week there is a "quota" of classes to sell (my buddy worked there as a trainer for a couple months). So the fact that I, as a potential student, am really just another number to fill in the weekly quota kind of annoys me.
Also... a lot of the dogs that I have seen in the training ring seem like they are with the "worst of the worst". What I mean by that, is that there will be fully grown dogs -- or puppies -- who, by watching them in the ring, have never seen a dog in their life. Barking incessantly, jumping, growling, etc. If I were in the ring with my dog... I would be annoyed at the fact that I can't hear what the instructor has planned.
 

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That's my biggest thing. I know for a fact that trainers make $20 bucks for every class sold, bare minimum, and that every single week there is a "quota" of classes to sell (my buddy worked there as a trainer for a couple months). So the fact that I, as a potential student, am really just another number to fill in the weekly quota kind of annoys me.
Also... a lot of the dogs that I have seen in the training ring seem like they are with the "worst of the worst". What I mean by that, is that there will be fully grown dogs -- or puppies -- who, by watching them in the ring, have never seen a dog in their life. Barking incessantly, jumping, growling, etc. If I were in the ring with my dog... I would be annoyed at the fact that I can't hear what the instructor has planned.
Well as a former PetSmart trainer (I left for a variety of reasons, but mostly to start up my own company), I can tell you that I personally could care less about the quota. I wanted students because I enjoyed teaching and training, and I got those students by talking to them about their dogs. If they ended up asking about training, then great. If not, then so be it. Sure there are those that sell just to sell, but they are not all like that (the other ones at my store were/are definitely not). There have been training clubs I have been a part of that work to fill a quota, too - it's not just at the chain stores. People have to make a living, ya know?

There are also barky dogs that have "never seen a dog in their life" everywhere. So the best thing you can do is check out various places (PetSmart, Petco, local training clubs, wherever) and observe a class or two and talk with the trainer(s) there.

Hope you find a place that works for you and your dog :)

ETA - I had been a trainer before I started working for PetSmart. After I moved from TX to PA, I needed a place to work and wanted to continue training, so PetSmart ended up working for a bit. So there are some that have had prior experience in training before working there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well as a former PetSmart trainer (I left for a variety of reasons, but mostly to start up my own company), I can tell you that I personally could care less about the quota. I wanted students because I enjoyed teaching and training, and I got those students by talking to them about their dogs. If they ended up asking about training, then great. If not, then so be it. Sure there are those that sell just to sell, but they are not all like that (the other ones at my store were/are definitely not). There have been training clubs I have been a part of that work to fill a quota, too - it's not just at the chain stores. People have to make a living, ya know?

There are also barky dogs that have "never seen a dog in their life" everywhere. So the best thing you can do is check out various places (PetSmart, Petco, local training clubs, wherever) and observe a class or two and talk with the trainer(s) there.

Hope you find a place that works for you and your dog :)
Unfortunately, the PM where I live near is VERY much about the quota. My friend told me that the salon, pet care, and cashiers are against the training because of how INSANE management becomes when classes aren't sold.
I understand that people have to make a living, but from my understanding from my friend, I'd just be another number for the weeks goal, which I don't like. That isn't PM's fault in any sense, it's just how I feel : P
And I know that those kinds of dogs are everywhere, but when it is Sunday, and sales are in the air, people flock to PM to get their stuff. A lot of times with their dogs. My issue isn't so much with people having poorly trained dogs (even though it infuriates me), it is the CONCENTRATION of people with said dogs. I can bring my Golden in to train at literally one time throughout the day -- 8 PM. An hour before the store closes. The traffic at this store is just ridiculous.
I may go over to Petco today and pick their brains apart.
 

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I got puppy training classes for my mom for Christmas at Petsmart. I attended the first class with her as I was curious to see how it would go. There were 6 dogs in the class. At first there was alot of barking as some had never been around other dogs. The trainer remained really calm the whole time. The first class the dogs were trained to respond to their name and to sit. The trainer also talked about care of the dogs and made some great suggestions. She gave my mom a sheet at the end of class that summarized what she did so my mom could practice with her dog. The trainer also took some time to work with each dog individually. At the end of class she also asked if we thought it would be better to split the class in half and have 3 dogs per session. Everyone agreed that it would be better. My mom attended the second puppy class this morning alone. She said the dogs were much calmer this time. They reviewed what they learned last week and spent some time socializing the dogs as well as practiced walking on a leash. My mom enjoys the classes and feels they are benficial for her puppy.
 

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Unfortunately, the PM where I live near is VERY much about the quota. My friend told me that the salon, pet care, and cashiers are against the training because of how INSANE management becomes when classes aren't sold.
I understand that people have to make a living, but from my understanding from my friend, I'd just be another number for the weeks goal, which I don't like. That isn't PM's fault in any sense, it's just how I feel : P
And I know that those kinds of dogs are everywhere, but when it is Sunday, and sales are in the air, people flock to PM to get their stuff. A lot of times with their dogs. My issue isn't so much with people having poorly trained dogs (even though it infuriates me), it is the CONCENTRATION of people with said dogs. I can bring my Golden in to train at literally one time throughout the day -- 8 PM. An hour before the store closes. The traffic at this store is just ridiculous.
I may go over to Petco today and pick their brains apart.
That's fine - it's your choice as to where you want your dog to be trained. I was just letting you know that not all trainers there are all about the quota (though I know that some are). The management might be (ours was), but we never tried and pressure people in order to make the managers happy. It is a different environment there as far as distractions go, and most trainers there worth anything will give advice as to how to work with those distractions. The placement of the ring also makes a difference (some don't even have training rings and they use the Pet Hotel daycare rooms or just in the aisles). IMO, Petco is not going to be any different than PetSmart - in you will be facing the same issues you've already outlined.

Trainers everywhere need to make a living, at the stores AND at other training clubs. I know, as I've started my own training business and work at a local club. All I'm really trying to say is just do your research with wherever or whomever you decide to train with. You may be missing out on a wonderful trainer just because you have issues with other aspects of PetSmart, or you may not. I don't know your store or the trainers that work there, so I can't tell you for sure LOL.
 

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Have you considered just trying to find a local trainer to help you? (one interested in training and NOT in retail sales)
Yes, because all I cared about when I worked there was retail - I totally didn't love training at all. No concern for the dogs/their owners whatsoever...
 

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Petco will not be much different in my opinion.

Have you considered just trying to find a local trainer to help you? (one interested in training and NOT in retail sales)
I had a great trainer at Petsmart. He cared about his dogs/owners in class. We have been on hikes with him, I have his number in case I ever had issues. He has gone to people't houses to help them work out issues free of charge. He stops and talks to me each and everytime I am in the store. Whether I have Gracie with me or not, he asks how she is doing. I sent him a text the minute she got her CGC and therapy certification and he sent texts right back.

To classify all Petsmart trainers into a group that doesn't care about training and are only worried about quotas is ridiculous. Are some like that? Probably. But all? Doubtful.
 

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I had a great trainer at PM as well. I learned a lot from him. He was about the dogs and not the quota (didn't even know there was a quota). He used my Daja several times for examples (she really liked him too). I don't know about the other trainers but David was good. He has been there for a number of years because I still see him there.

Good luck with your training quest.
 

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I would recommend any positive training, if nothing else for the distractions and socialization. I take the SAR dogs for their good citizen deal. The trainer is good for new owners or people very novice to dogs. I never had the impression they were just working for commission or didn't lime training dogs. . I do my own training, but pet stores are great distractions.
 

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I was going to do petsmart training, but then I found a six week course done by some trainers licensed by the AKC , for $20 less than petsmart was asking. It's outside in a dog park, not indoors in a small area. The trainers are reachable outside of classes for any questions you might have.
I am more comfortable with this. I was surprised that petsmart wasn't the cheapest option out there, and I love being outdoors and all the dogs in our session are in the same weight range.

I like that they teach you skills should you want to get your dog involved in any showing, but it's also handy for every day stuff with your dog.
 

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I was going to do petsmart training, but then I found a six week course done by some trainers licensed by the AKC , for $20 less than petsmart was asking. It's outside in a dog park, not indoors in a small area. The trainers are reachable outside of classes for any questions you might have.
I am more comfortable with this. I was surprised that petsmart wasn't the cheapest option out there, and I love being outdoors and all the dogs in our session are in the same weight range.

I like that they teach you skills should you want to get your dog involved in any showing, but it's also handy for every day stuff with your dog.
AKC doesn't license trainers. The closest I can think of is that if you're certified to evaluate CGCs, AKC allows you to pass out their puppy class materials (and buy their STAR puppy class stuff)
 

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Well I should clarify -- It's the "Vegas Valley Dog Obedience Club" (licensed by the American Kennel Club). So, the CLUB is licensed by the AKC. Sorry :redface:
 

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I don't care for them, they are totally positive with no adversities at all, sorry but that doesn't work with some breeds. I admit to not being above using a leash pop (light, it's not like I'm pulling the poor creature off it's feet) to get their attention or "touch" them to "snap them out of it" as a certain TV personality says :rolleyes:. That's how i trained mine & they are totally focused, even when other dogs lunge at them or ppl want to pet them, they are always happy to oblige.
 

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I don't care for them, they are totally positive with no adversities at all, sorry but that doesn't work with some breeds. I admit to not being above using a leash pop (light, it's not like I'm pulling the poor creature off it's feet) to get their attention or "touch" them to "snap them out of it" as a certain TV personality says :rolleyes:. That's how i trained mine & they are totally focused, even when other dogs lunge at them or ppl want to pet them, they are always happy to oblige.
So what breeds can't be trained with positive reinforcement? What breeds need aversives (or adversities?)
 

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We had a decent experience with Petsmart training quite a few years ago in southern CA. The trainer was a really great guy, great with the dogs, lots of help, had other experience outside of Petsmart. For the price it was awesome, but our dog had some MAJOR problems that those type of classes just weren't equipped to handle - it was great for sit, down, stay, walk on leash, etc.

I went to our local Petsmart where we live now to get some info on classes for our new puppy and I was immediately turned off by the trainer. She made some asinine comments and was also very condescending toward me. I watched some of her class the other day and it was so, so sad. I am far from a dog training pro, but the people were making just tons of mistakes. I felt so bad for one little boxer puppy. His owner kept YELLING "sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit" over and over in his face. He had no idea what the guy wanted and was so confused. When he finally sat (probably out of boredom), the guy jerks his leash to pull him up again and starts over with "sit, sit, sit, sit" Trainer just kept saying "Keep trying, keep trying"

So - I think its just completely depends on the individual trainer.
 

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I don't care for them, they are totally positive with no adversities at all, sorry but that doesn't work with some breeds. I admit to not being above using a leash pop (light, it's not like I'm pulling the poor creature off it's feet) to get their attention or "touch" them to "snap them out of it" as a certain TV personality says :rolleyes:. That's how i trained mine & they are totally focused, even when other dogs lunge at them or ppl want to pet them, they are always happy to oblige.
Don't you mean "MOSTLY" focused ?

If your dogs were in fact "totally" focused, there would be no need for a leash pop in the first place.

Maybe injecting a little more positive-style training might help you to achieve focus much closer to "totally". .... Hmmm ???
 
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